The request for an inspection of the computer is denied. Such inspections by an adversary—even by a forensic expert, which movants do not suggest they have engaged—are granted only under limited circumstances, when there is reason to believe that a litigant has tampered with the computer or hidden relevant materials despite demand for them in the course of the lawsuit or when the possession or use of the computer is an element of the parties' claims or defenses. See, e.g.,
Piccone v. Town of Webster, 2010 WL 3516581, *8 (W.D.N.Y. Sept. 3, 2010); Calvon v. Mizuho Secs. USA, Inc., 2007 WL 1468889, at *3–5 (S.D.N.Y. May 18, 2007); Treppel v. Biovail Corp., 249 F.R.D. 111, 123–24 (S.D.N.Y.2008). Cf.
Genworth v. Fin. Wealth Mgt., Inc., 267 F.R.D. 443, 448–49 (D.Conn.2010) (ordering forensic search by court-appointed expert); De Espana v. American Bureau of Shipping, 2007 WL 1686327, at *9 (S.D.N.Y. June 6, 2007) (plaintiff ordered to search own computer). This limitation reflects the fact that production of a computer to the adversary almost invariably will lead to disclosure of quantities of documents that are entirely irrelevant or privileged, and, even if not privileged, possibly quite sensitive. See generally
Genworth, 267 F.R.D. at 446–47 (quoting Ameriwood Inds., Inc. v. Liberman, 2006 WL 3825291, at *3, 6 (Dec. 27, 2006), amended,
2007 WL 685623 (E.D.Mo. Feb. 23, 2007)).